Someday Productions LLC and Pillow Talking are pleased to present the following review of OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL by Horror Critic I.M. NOSFERATU
by I.M. NOSFERATU
Jasonian – Friday the 13th classic quality level
Sick – Good
Ill – Even better than sick
Ripper smooth – Smooth like the blade of Jack the Ripper
Horrific – Excellent
Horrifically – Really
Fangs — Kudos
Bite – Shout out
Hitch – Hitchcockian
Krugerian level – The level of A Nightmare on Elm Street
Red – blood
Fever pitch – love of killing
Muggles – term used in Harry Potter series for mortals
I.M. Nosferatu Medal of Honor – my prestigious thump on the back for a great film!
Ouija: Origin of Evil
I know evil. I know it when I see it. I know it when I hear it. I know it when I touch it, taste it, and smell it…you get the picture. And let me tell you, it was no damn coincidence that my parents dropped the moniker I. M. Nosferatu on me – they tell me that it was because I had such an otherworldly scream right out of the womb. But I digress…Suffice it to say, I’ve always accepted that I’m evil incarnate; and with that comes a certain responsibility – a responsibility to filter out the real deals from the hoaxes when it comes to the wicked, the malevolent, the vile, and most anything related to the spirit world. So when I hear that so-called scientists – you know, the namby-pambys in the white coats with all their degrees hammered on the walls – spew their “facts” that a Ouija board is fake, phony, or otherwise just a party game for pre-pubescent teeny boppers wearing p.j.s and telling ghost stories in mommy’s basement, I get angry. Fever pitch angry. And I see red. Do they really believe that the planchette (for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, a planchette is the triangular-shaped pointer on the Ouija board) only moves because of “the unconscious movements of those controlling it” – some obnoxious phenomenon they call the “ideomotor effect”? Sounds more like the idiotic effect if you ask me, and that’s just plain b.s. According to the rest of us nefarious folk – and we run in packs of thousands, mind you – the Ouija is a portal to the spirit world. It’s not all freak and fear though – because it can be used for both evil and good (not that I’m a fan of the latter). Just google away and you’ll find thousands of horrific stories – everything from raising the dead to demonic possession. If you don’t believe me, I have my own Ouija and talk to the dead all the time – come on over for a visit and we’ll have quite the night – Krugerian level fun to be had.
But for those of you who just want your jollies vicariously, Ouija: Origin of Evil is a fairly sick flick. And certainly it’s ill-er than its predecessor, Ouija. Does it merit that Kugerian level of a visit to my house or even an 80% on Rotten Tomatoes? I have to say, it’s not Ripper smooth for hardcore horror, paranormal, or occult fans, but I can see where the muggle population would be more accepting (and forgiving) of its flaws. Certainly Hasbro is happy that the public likes one of its movies for a change and I’m certain Ouija board sales will spike no matter what the inherent risks of its use may be.
Ouija: Origin of Evil is a period piece, taking place in Los Angeles circa 1965 depending on which source you use. Single mother Alice Zander, played by veteran horror actress Elizabeth Reaser (the hot mama Esme Cullen from the Twilight franchise), scrapes by making a living and raising her two daughters by scamming muggles who want to talk to their dear departed ones. Her daughters Doris Zander (Lulu Wilson from Annabelle 2 and Deliver Us from Evil) and Lina Zander (from Oculus) are willing participants in the scam and actively take part in the séance shenanigans that serves as window dressing for the gullible muggles.
Alice decides to turn up the heat with some Ouija board action. Little Doris takes to the board like a maggot on a dead carcass. The next thing you know, it’s the scene out of Ghost where Whoopi Goldberg finds out she has the shine. It seems Alice’s mother was a “real” clairvoyant and just maybe the gene skipped to Little Doris. (I kid you not; that’s right out of the script). Demonic possession (you can always tell victims of demonic possession by the pure white contact lenses they wear) occurs and all hell breaks loose – literally. It was nice to see how Henry Thomas (Elliot from E.T.) has grown into manhood and plays the sympathetic and rather naïve Father Tom Hogan.
At its best, Ouija: Origin of Evil is a slow build to a somewhat predictable and milk-toasty climax. At its worst, for diehard, uncompromising horror aficionados like myself, it’s totally derivative and like E.T. following the Reese’s Pieces, one can see the trail and trappings of past horror classics. Doris Zander, for example, is but a toned-down Linda Blair-clone, sans the head spin and pea soup. While Henry Thomas made a credible performance as the requisite faith-plagued Irish Catholic Priest, he certainly was no Jason Miller or Max Von Sydow. There are elements of Poltergeist including a house buried over the dead. And speaking of Ouija boards and their cinematic use, The Exorcist was one of the first films to introduce the Ouija as a possible portal to the spirit world. From there, the cult classic Witchboard starring White Snake’s main squeeze at the time, Tawny Kitaen, forever established the Ouija board as an instrument of evil. That film was totally sick, Ripper smooth, and gets my I.M. Nosferatu Medal of Honor. Special bites in that film must go to Kathleen Wilhoite as the wacky psychic, Zarabeth.
But enough about Witchboard. This movie was written by Mike Flanagan and Jeff Howard. Despite its limitations, Flanagan’s excellent direction raised it above the usual genre fare. Having previously directed Hush, Oculus, and Absentia to name a few, he’s developing a real John Carpenter-esque style which I, for one, am certainly looking forward to seeing how it develops in future projects.
On the Krugerian scale of horror, Ouija: Origin of Evil is a thin layer of ectoplasm compared to the thick viscosity of these other horror films. But while Ouija is no Witchboard, it’s better than watching reruns of Ghost Hunters.
I.M. Nosferatu hails from Gehenna (look it up). He has an encyclopedic mind for horror, sci-fi, paranormal, and the occult. He has myriad other hobbies and interests which may not be appropriate to print here (or to divulge at all), but his mission in life (and death) at least for our purposes, is to find good (or as he puts it “sick”), spine-chilling, blood-curdling media in the horror genre and tout it to the world. He is a straight shooter and calls ‘em like he sees ‘em. He will not suffer fools, sycophants, ass-kissers, brown-nosers, and other suck-ups. Pillow Talking is thrilled to have him on board as a guest blogger despite having never met him face-to-face and dealing solely through emails (at odd hours of the night).
If you have something in particular you would like for I.M. Nosferatu to review, you may contact him (if you dare) at IMNos4A2.gmail.com.